SALINAS, Calif. -

After seven years of service weathering a severe downturn and then helping a city begin reinventing itself as an emerging AgTech capital, Salinas Community and Economic Development Director Jeffrey Weir will step down next week.

He is set to retire July 17 and Douglas Yount, project manager for the new economic development element of the city's general plan, will serve on an interim basis.

Weir was the first department director for the Community and Economic Development Department, established in 2010.

Weir helped bring the Steinbeck Innovation Cluster to the city, including bringing in new major retail businesses and a hotel to Salinas.

"We were lucky to have the benefit of Jeff's knowledge, experience and whole-hearted commitment to our city these past seven years," said City Manager Ray E. Corpuz, Jr. in a news release Wednesday. "We will miss him. Luckily, he has left us well-positioned to build on the excellent work he did."